November 22, 2016 Subject:
D-Day Broadcasts: Compare and Contrast...
It's fascinating to listen to CBS News' careful, scrupulously-vetted accounts of the Normandy landings (often based on confusing, fragmentary information). Compared with modern media debacles such as CNN News' mishandling of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 story, this is exemplary work---should be mandatory listening for student journalists.
June 6, 2016 Subject:
Another year has passed, and the number of people with living memory of this tragic, heroic grotesquely necessary day shrinks rapidly.
I've come here and listened to bits of this for years now, and never bothered to post a review. It is something I wish more people would take the time to hear.
My mother is near the door of death as I type, she spoke to me at length before dementia took her away about this day. About the terror and fear, about the sorry and joy. About hope, and about never giving up.
I had an uncle who was at Iwo Jima in the Pacific theater. He literally never spoke about it to anyone. All he ever told me was that it haunted him. His wife once shared some details with me confidentially. The brutality of it was shocking.
The problem with war, with any kind of conflict is that it is almost always the case that to win, I have to become the monster I am trying to defeat. And then the long road back to my own humanity is sometimes a bridge too far.
Remember that before you start one.
June 7, 2015 Subject:
...as I trust many are. (6/6/14- 70th anniversary).
My thoughts today have turned a couple of times to the guys who were asked to land on Omaha Beach early on that overcast Tuesday morning so long ago. We cannot possibly imagine what it was like to be in their shoes.
April 10, 2014 Subject:
Wonderful bit of time travel
I really enjoy listening to this archive! It is wonderful to hear just what our grandparents heard on that eventful day.
January 1, 2014 Subject:
History unfolds as civilians first learned it
The shared aspect of these programs is the news of the Normandy landing reported throughout the day. In the early hours, news came only from German sources, no confirmation offered by the American military or America's allies. Later, the Allies issue bulletins. This program collection isn't quite a complete broadcast day, because the first track is 1-hour-6-minutes edited from the first three-and-three-quarter hours (approx.) of June 6, 1944, to include only the news bulletins, cutting out the passages from the regular programming which was interrupted. Thus, the first track here covers from about half past midnight to sometime late in the 3 a.m. hour. (I've heard recordings of these four hours elsewhere. It was dramatic to hear recorded popular music being interrupted for unexpected news. The fact that the music recordings therein are likely covered by copyright could account for why the tracks were snipped to include only the news. Contrary to what another reviewer here says, removal of another set of broadcasts from Internet Archive may not be due to "some greedy rights holder of news broadcasts" but rather the inclusion of copyrighted popular music therein.) The editing of this first track inserts silence where the cuts occur, making it easy to figure out where time jumps forward. The news announcers make occasional statements from which listeners can infer the then-current time.
The 2nd track here more-or-less is the 4 a.m. broadcast hour, the 3rd track the 5 a.m., etc. (About 17 minutes into track 4, an announcer gives the time as 6:11 a.m.) Later on, the tracks begin and end on the hour. The 10th track begins with the regularly-scheduled 12:00 noon program (Kate Smith's), here focused on the invasion. The program schedule had changed to go to an all-news format long before dawn (Eastern Time), continuing that way to 10 a.m. Regular soap operas are then heard. Mid-afternoon, the titles of the regularly-scheduled programs are announced only so that listeners can be told those shows wouldn't be heard that day. News and analysis are broadcast, interspersed with live patriotic music ("Stars and Stripes Forever" is played multiple times). Some British news reports are piped onto the American broadcast. CBS interviews some people in Washington DC, including Representative Albert Gore of Tennessee (father of the later Vice President).
Speeches announced ahead of time and broadcast as scheduled include one each from King George VI of England (at 3 p.m.) and President Franklin Roosevelt (at 10 p.m.). Both reference prayer, as do several of the news reports (the mayor of New York City set up space for mass prayer). Whether today's listeners regard these as quaint remnants of a more naive time or as components of lost civility, there's no denying that these remarks stand in stark contrast to the news reporting of today.
The prime-time schedule was shuffled a little to allow for FDR to speak at 10 p.m. (beginning of track 20), yet entertainment programs were broadcast, including one starring Charles Laughton produced by Norman Corwin (at 8 p.m.) and the comedy series of George Burns and Gracie Allen (at 9 p.m.). (The sound quality of this Burns & Allen program is weak, inferior to the good sound quality of many of their shows available elsewhere.)
Tracks 22-24 here are actually from June 7, 1944 (Eastern Time), covering from midnight to about 2:59 a.m. Each hour begins with a quarter- to a half-hour of news, then transitions to regular live music programs. Harry James headlines the half-hour beginning at 12:30 a.m.
Military experts are sure to be riveted by the as-it-happens analysis heard here, and people interested in hearing the entertainment of WWII will be satisfied as well. A group of people with different tastes may find something to satisfy many tastes (which is what radio attempted in the era before fragmented audiences led stations to program for narrow interests).
July 5, 2013 Subject:
Really enjoying these clips! Thanks for putting up! Any ideas where I could find the original WAV files for these, preferably public domain? Thanks!
June 7, 2012 Subject:
Three cheers for Trout
Bob Trout had urbane authority, but with just the right dash of informal charm. I can imagine that his original listeners felt they were in very good hands. He really shines in the first hour. Thanks so much for posting!
July 25, 2010 Subject:
Did anyone ever come up with the 4:48-5:53 segment that is missing, and could replace the duplicated segment?
January 17, 2010 Subject:
This D-Day Archive is a Remarkable and Historically Important Collection.
To anyone with even the vaguest interest in 20th-Century history these recordings are an amazing archive. One hears in 'real time', moment by moment, the actual breaking news of the June 6 1944 D-Day landings--the beginning of the invasion of Europe by Allied Forces--just as CBS studios on the other side of the Atlantic received it.
From rumor to the first and accurate reports by Nazi wireless broadcasts, to shortwave radio news crossing the Atlantic, to the official Allied announcement of invasion, this cataclysmic and momentous WW-II event unfolds to us hour by hour with a frisson and thrill. Even from hindsight, we experience those extraordinary events with surprise and excitement, as did those CBS reporters who experienced them firsthand over sixty-five years ago.
I was so captivated and spellbound by the sheer immediacy of the reporting in these 65-year old recordings that I listened to nearly all of the archive in one session. Listening again after some months, I still find them intensely moving and poignant. On D-Day listeners would have listened with great anticipation and in fear and dread of not knowing what was happening to their loved ones--their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands; but we listeners of today are continuously aware of the appalling events that were unfolding on the Normandy beaches--of the unmitigated slaughter and mayhem at Omaha and elsewhere. As with those D-Day listeners of 65 years ago, we too listen to these broadcasts with great intensity and emotion: though with the passage of time we listen not in fear and dread, but with sorrow and with gratitude and in remembrance.
I kept recalling the tragic and graphic account in Ambrose's D-Day book (Ch.17-Visitors to Hell) of the terrible events that befell the 116th Regiment at Omaha. It's years since I've read the account but these recordings kept reminding me of them. One in particular remains etched on my mind: a brief and understated but very powerful account by Sgt. Warner Hamlett of F Company, of the slow and terrible death of young Pfc. Gillingham. One's emotions just cry out over his horrific and tragic predicament and of a young life cut short in its prime. Hamlett's refrained matter-of-fact account reminds us there are some aspects of battle so painful and terrible they defy conveyance to those who were not there; they're unspeakable notions best left on the battlefield. It is what Hamlett does not tell us that conveys how truly terrible the D-Day landings were.
Of course, hundreds of similar tragedies spanned the length and breadth of the Normandy beaches but none more so than at Omaha. By day's end, thousands more of Gillingham's buddies had also succumbed to the massacre. There were up to 10,000 D-Day casualties, 116th Regiment alone sustained 797 (KIA: 349, WIA: 422 and MIA: 26). Words just cannot depict such hell.
Moreover, those who were not there will never fully imagine or comprehend it, although perhaps Ernie Pyle came close when on June 17, 1944 he wrote from Normandy 'A Long Thin Line of Personal Anguish' where he describes Omaha Beach the day after D-Day and 'a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach' which was 'the strewn personal gear, gear that will never be needed again, of those who fought and died…' This sad and tragic account* of D-Day, one of the best ever written, leaves us in no doubt as to the inevitable human tragedy that always accompanies battle.
This archive is a stark reminder of the tragic, terrible and ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of those young soldiers, most of whom were green and untried until D-day (a disgraceful fact in and of itself). They've paid the ultimate price to secure our freedom.
In today's threatening world where governments are continuously eroding our freedoms, where democracy is coming under more strain than ever, often from within, we must never forget their struggle and ultimate sacrifice. We must continue to defend our freedoms along with democracy with all our might, for if we fail, ultimately so will have they. Their sacrifice must never ultimately have been in vain. Even the notion of failure must always remain unthinkable.
This CBS D-Day broadcast, together with its NBC equivalent--also on the Internet Archive, are probably the most important archives of their type that I have yet come across; I'd thoroughly recommend them to everyone, especially teenage school kids and those of an age who might be considering a military career**.
** No, this is not a call to pacifism; tragically, sometimes war is the inevitable outcome of events. However, those who will be called upon to fight in war need to be better informed about its aspects, especially on such important issues as the mental and physical effects that soldiers experience after combat. Also, there's a need to counter widespread propaganda that portrays macho and heroic images of war and of things that glorify it. There is nothing quite as terrible in the human experience as war and we need to accept that Hollywood's portrayal of it is little more than a pathetic, fanciful chimera. War can't be learned by analogy as there is no effective analogy of war, both society and prospective soldiers need to be cognizant of this.
As the old truism goes, 'The only training for war is war itself'.
December 7, 2009 Subject:
WW II Audio Collection
This is a good collection.
Anyone know where I might find the huge collection of WWII audio that used to be here?
I had downloaded the entire collection, but that hard drive died on me and I am looking to replace that audio.
June 20, 2009 Subject:
Get 'em while they're hot!
If you're interested in these you had better download them right away. They may well be removed like the entire huge World War II broadcasts collection was earlier today, then you'll be out of luck. Seems there's some greedy rights holder of news broadcasts out there.
June 6, 2009 Subject:
It's June 6 2009, the 65th anniversary of these recordings. I've been playing them all day in the background. I find myself pricking up my ears at certain points, almost forgetting it's history. It is a harrowing account from that perspective. During certain moments you can imagine what it must have been like to switch on the radio at 6am getting ready for work on a Tuesday morning and this came over the air. I never quite understood how that the great invasion was something the American people knew would happen, without knowing the time and place. I don't know if I've ever felt that feeling, that something big is happening, it's getting closer, impending.
Thanks for posting this.
April 17, 2009 Subject:
This and the companion NBC set are fantastic. I copy them to my MP3 player and listen at night when I cannot sleep. But I have just one puzzlement.
I had been listening to the CBS files in sequence, and noticed that Part_003 begins with the comments of the French military analyst Mr. Miller, introduced by the CBS Washington bureau at the end of Part_004.
Part_002 seems to run from about 3:48 to 4:48 AM. It ends abruptly during a report by James Wellard of the Blue (according to CBS records that started at 4:48). From other sources I've estimated that the time period covered by Part_004 is from 5:53 to 6:59 AM. There are references to Richard Hottelet's broadcast of 5:07 AM.
So we seem to be missing a segment from 4:48 to 5:53 AM. That portion would also contain a pool report from Dave Anderson (NBC) and at 5:29 a closed circuit (but ordered broadcast by him) between Paul White and Ed Murrow).
November 29, 2008 Subject:
Studying history "in the moment," when the participants and correspondents were unaware of what would happen next, makes these momentous events come alive.
These recordings are a treasure.
My deepest thanks for making them available.
April 17, 2008 Subject:
More Information Please
This is an amazing set, a time machine.
Does anyone have information on the source for this? A segment by segment rundown would be delightful, as well.
April 8, 2008 Subject:
Very intresting but low Quality
Very interesting and complete selection but mp3 at 32kbps is a terrible low audio Quality.
November 13, 2007 Subject:
Someone gives this three stars because two of the files take a few months to be found?!? Please. You're lucky we can hear this at all 63 years after it happened. Not only that, you don't even have to pay to hear it cause it's a free flipping download.
Some people can never be pleased......
Oh yeah - this is simply amazing. Download it and enjoy it. Great piece of world history.
June 3, 2007 Subject:
You're also missing part 22
It's enjoyable to hear these broadcasts...when they can be found...but when it takes six months to find one missing mp3 out of this collection...only to find out there's a second one missing makes it notas enjoyable...
April 15, 2007 Subject:
A fascinating document
I am listening today, Holocaust Memorial Day overhere in Israel, to this broadcast, hour by hour. It is a frightening experience, even for those of us born a long time after D-Day. Check elsewhere here in IA for the complete collection of WWII newscasts - the URL is http://www.archive.org/details/worldwarIInewsOTRKIBM
for a very complete collection of soundclips for one of humanity's darkest hours.
This collection is of amazing good quality, encoded at 32k 16khz, giving thus the feeling of AM frequency response. Listening to both collections is hard for those of us that lost families in the holocaust, mine isn't even documented properly and will never be, but these recording gave me the oportunity to, at least, know more. I thank the person that made this recording available and thank IA for making this available to the public at large, no words can even describe what these documents mean to those of us, in all countries, that have gone thru some many wars...